Welcome to the website for Angus' channel swim. Track his progress and see the total raised below, or scroll down to read a blog which will be updated as he swims! Remember you can still donate by going to http://www.bmycharity.com/channelangus
Angus' location will appear on the map via GPS when he does his swim. Use the chevron button to close the spot list and navigate the map using the arrows.
Help increase the total raised by donating at http://www.bmycharity.com/channelangus
It's in the bag. Not without incident, and yet to get him back on the boat. But he's done it. He's bloody done it.
As you can see below, we're nearly there... Less than two miles to go in a straight line. The only question is how far past the point of Cap Gris Nez the tide takes us. Angus is starting to really doubt us when we tell him that he is making good progress. Spirits pretty good though given his situation.
We've finally exited the french shipping lane and now in inland french waters. Now we're bobbing and rolling through choppier water. Everything that isn't tied down is sliding from side to side and there's guacamole everywhere.
Most of the time the only sight we have of the merman Angus is a flashing green bonce and a glowing green bottom -- lights so we can track him rather than some surreal side effect of over exposure to sea water. It's getting harder to keep him alongside the boat as he gets more and more disorientated and veers off.
Over 100 texts received -- we should have asked Orange to match our communications bill in charity donations!
Onwards and, well, sideways a bit, and rolling from side to side a bit. But onwards anyway.
Back in earlier halcyon times:
We continue our long parabola back eastwards. At each feed stop we lose precious ground again but we have to keep the energy high with more jelly babies, energy drink, tea and tinned fruit. You can see the frustration on Angus face as he can't work out why we don't seem to be getting any closer despite all his heroic efforts. All we can say is 'keep going', 'you're looking good'. And he is. Keeping going and looking good. His stroke is still long and he's looking powerful. Not a hint yet of wanting to quit, just wanting to get it over with.
Having hoped to finish in the light of evening, we're now thinking about finishing in the light of dawn. But the question is, how many of you will be with us through the night? Getting so many texts. Can't possibly relay them all to Angus as it would take him an hour or more to read them all. But thanks for all the great positive vibes which are helping I'm sure.
Oh yes, and if you forgot, here's where you can do the do: http://www.bmycharity.com/channelangus.
Looks like we're in for the long haul folks. The tide turned fast and hard and we're being taken back up the french shipping lane. We've made 300m of progress in the last half an hour. Hoping that we can keep on making headway so when the tide turns again - and the sea dogs think that'll be around midnight - we've a chance of taking it in towards the eastern side of Cap Gris Nez.
Captain Ray, master of the instruments:
Progress is slow. Angus is looking a bit haggard now. Barely a smile - the feeds are just a matter of getting some hot liquid down and ploughing on. The one bit of excitement, to break the monotonous big blue, was a 2 to 3 metre bough wave from one of the passing cargo ships. Angus hardly noticed!
However, looking on the bright side: The seas are still calm. The sun's pretty hazy but nothing threatening on the horizon. The tide is starting to slacken a bit. And Angus got anothe £400 of donations since my last post.
I hope Angus has got plenty more to give. Have you? Are you listening, Bill Gates? Come on you Rothschilds (Rothschildren?). Will, Kate, Harry -- cough up!
He's a relentless whale-man. Even above the noise of the diesel motor, sitting here inside the cabin at 'mission control', I can hear the splish, splosh, splish, splosh of his stroke through the window. Metronomic at around 56 strokes per minute. A bit of shoulder pain now, so some pain killers and anti-inflamatories coming.
We're now heading pretty much parallel to the French coast (as I hope you can see from the Spot tracker). Hopefully the tide will turn soon and we can start making good straight line speed again.
Plenty more messages, though fewer laughs now. I know what would get him going though, a wacking great donation to the Lawrence Well charity appeal. Come on, big spenders. Go to http://www.bmycharity.com/channelangus. Please.
Angus in the big blue - no land in sight:
Loads of messages of support coming in. Jimmy Law got a chuckle with 'watch the floaters' as did Jamie from Brighton Swimming Club with the thought if him following the swim sitting in a cold bath for added empathy.
More than half way in straight line distance done now but the current is getting stronger as we approach France and we seem to be on a trajectory for Brittany at the moment. Out of sight of England and a faint smudge of brown on the horizon is the french coast. Angus still seeming positive but by now will have no idea how long he's been swimming for, how far he's got, and how far there is to go. Nor do we for that matter -- it all depends on how the tides turn and whether he's made enough progress by the time the tide starts going out again to hit Cap Gris Nez.
Water temperature's down to 15.2 degrees and Angus is startling to feel the cold now. Nothing serious (yet) but he's looking a bit grumpier and complaining that his drinks aren't hot enough. Second mate Bob is down below decks boiling more hot water for the next feed. Fiona warned us that swimmers are likely to hit the wall (figuratively, that is) sometime between 4 and 7 hours in. We're over 5 hours in now.
I can't imagine what he's actually thinking about down there. Hope they're good thoughts.
Almost out of the English shipping lane now. The Rotterdam Express is cutting across our course in front of us, fully laden, doing 22 knots. Should pass before we get there though.
Just had our first run in with a cargo ship. Had to call to Dover to ask 'High Priority' to alter its course. A channel swimmer is higher priority!
Got a few problems with swimmer to boat positioning. Can't seem to keep Angus to port side as he keeps on listing to starboard (look at me with my marine lingo!) Still plodding on though.
Remember -- keep on giving people: http://www.bmycharity.com/channelangus.
Congrats to Monty for getting the first laugh out of Angus during the crossing with "Go crazy SEA horse!". It was a bit of a forced laugh but better than a full belly laugh resulting in a sea water choking moment!
More than three hours down and 6 nautical miles done. Soon about to enter the English shipping lane and we can see the container ships ahead of us. Fiona has upped the concentration of his feed as he's starting to over rotate, meaning he's getting a bit tired and possibly low on energy. Feeding is critical to success. Angus remains positive but things could start getting interesting soon...
We've got a bit of a sweep stake going on aboard the boat for the final finishing time. The estimates vary wildly from around 11 hours to around 17 hours. The estimators vary wildly from the complete blaggers (me and the film crew) to the experts (the official Peter, Captain Ray, Fiona and Eileen). The widest variance is between the so-called experts though so it all seems like guess work to me. I'm sticking with my 15 hours! Anything could happen between now and then though.
Angus has now done 4.7 nautical miles and actually it seems like he's going in a pretty straight line. You should be able to see that from the Spot tracker above. (Despite the marvels of modern technology I can't get that to work over my mobile internet connection in the middle of the channel so I can't check.) The pace seems ok but anything could happen over the next few hours...
Remember, you can text your messages of support to Angus' mobile and I'll write them up on the board for him to see. The first one to get a genuine laugh from Angus will win a personal mention on the blog...
Don't forget, you can donate at http://www.bmycharity.com/channelangus.
It's going swimmingly so far. All plain sailing. Angus has now covered about three miles in a curving arc as he gets carried Holland-wards by the tide drawing out. So the straight line distance is much less than that. He's popped his head up twice to take a feed - at 1 hour and 1.5 hours. Not much said, no drama, just a determined look on his face beneath his big black goggles.
And he's off!
Plastered in zinc cream and wool grease to protect from the sun and the salt (and looking like an albino gorilla) he stands on Samphire Hoe beach looking out to sea. The boat gives a the signal and he walks into the water and begins The Swim.
Conditions couldn't be better. Not a cloud in the sky and light winds. Water temperature nearly 16 degrees. Sure there will be plenty of trials and tribulations to come though...